Saturday, August 25, 2018

Making sense of a couple of odd-sounding verses in Deuteronomy

This week’s Torah portion contained some true “Wow!” verses. Case in point, these two in Deuteronomy 25:

Deuteronomy 25:11 "If men are fighting with each other, and the wife of one comes up to help her husband get away from the man attacking him by grabbing the attacker's private parts with her hand, 12 you are to cut off her hand; show no pity.  (CJB)

Naturally, our first instinct about verse 12 is to yell, “UNFAIR! Why can’t the wife do whatever is necessary to help fend off her husband’s attacker?”  But when you think about it from YHWH’s perspective, it begins to make sense….

You see, a “man’s private parts” are the parts that make babies; the parts that allow men to obey the command to be “fruitful and multiply.”  Babies are tiny new humans made in YHWH’s Image (See Genesis 1:26-28).  By damaging a man in such a way, you not only remove his ability to procreate, but you are denying YHWH’s Image to come forth and shine in this lost world of ours….

And this one:

Deuteronomy 25:16 14 You are not to have in your house two sets of measures, one big, the other small. 15 You are to have a correct and fair weight, and you are to have a correct and fair measure, so that you will prolong your days in the land ADONAI your God is giving you. 16 For all who do such things, all who deal dishonestly, are detestable to ADONAI your God. (CJB)

While this passage is about “weights and measures, the broader meaning of verse 16 is that, if you are cheating someone in ANY way, you are viewed detestable in the eyes of ADONAI….

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